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Episode 57: Populists Storm Wall Street! GameStop, Reddit, and the rise of Meme Stocks

January 29 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm PDT

Just when you thought you’d seen everything populist in America, what was last week’s political mob took on hedge funds and Wall Street at their own game this week. Game stop.

Was it the ultimate liberation of the retail investor? The elevation of bubbles to high art on Reddit with the emergence of meme stocks? Or, the most public exposure of Wall Street corruption and manipulation in all history, experienced as an ARG on Robinhood. Today on Quarantime we dive in to this weeks version of the Great Populist Experience! With former Reddit general council Melissa Tidwell, media and financial entrepreneur Richard Titus, and network scientist & conspiracy investigator Dave Troy.

1) Don’t Bet Against the Audience The influence of a likeminded swarm has been on display this year. They move elections and create memes that entertain and carry conversation far. For much of 2020 we were obsessed with the covid & political social media — moderated but not particularly filtered stories spread anti-vaxers and anti mask mobs. And turn out the vote groups, along with the Q conspiracy and ultimately stop the steal found their voice on line and forced platforms to take regulatory actions. And just as that calmed down, Wall Street Bets on reddit rallies investors into a battle Royale with hedge funds. Today we’ll be joined by a guest who’s lived in the middle of the rapid growth , how do we moderate/control our audience set of issues, former Reddit general council Melissa Tidwell@mstiddy ) who had a front row seat at the table of emergent properties.

2) Take the capitol vs. take capital. Richard Titus ( @richardtitus ) is a marketing and financial entrepreneur who’s been crafting whats next on the internet for years. When he launched one for the first Internet ad agencies, Razorfish, his client was Schwab, the fist company to create discount phone brokerages that reduced trading friction and and coasts, and began to gameify it. His five years in Blockchain has brought him into the center of whats a company worth: is it based on fundamentals (everything we were taught in school) or narrative (sentiment, meme, the aspirations of owners.). This week he considers the revolutions we find ourselves in: Chaotic evil: take the capitol. Chaotic good: take the capital. He’ll join us to deliciously unpack the GameStop phenomena .

3) Who knows what Evil lurks?  Is there more than meets the eye in this GameStop V Wall Street imbroglio Dave Troy@davetroy ) is an expert in the science network analysis and disinformation. He’ll help us understand whether the giant swings and number of actors affecting stock price and leverage is simply a fight between pros and retail investors, or a continuation of foreign interference in us institutions in an attempt to destabilize then and reduce trust. Moscow, Beijing, North Korea, and Iran adore cyber skirmishes and mischief – does this weeks drama bear their finger prints as well. We’ll dive in the math and back ops to learn more.

4) What might be the next endless frontier for populist play? Science fictionalist, author of the Quantum Thief, and co-founder of @HelixNano, Hannu Rajaniemi ( @hannu ) joins us to explore what might happen if the next populist bubble happens somewhere on the social network of bits and atoms and the entangled futures of biology.


January 29, 2021
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm PDT